Cara Mia Trattoria Miami

What are some very good restaurants that won’t break the bank (I’m not saying cheap, but not $150 and up for two) said friends of mine? I took that on as a serious challenge, and set out to do an ongoing series of best value restaurants in Miami. They will be broken down into two categories, those worthy of “date night’ as in stylish ambiance, white tablecloths if possible,  four star food for around $80 to under $100 for two. And the other category is more casual, quality food, good service, price range $60 To $80 for two. Prices include a glass of wine and two course meal.

My choice for the first example is Cara Mia  <> > , 1040 Alton Road, Miami Beach (t.305-397-8624 <tel:305-397-8624> ). The minute you walk in Maitre d’ Tim makes you feel at home, Italian trattoria style. This dining spot, with its photo murals of the film Roman Holiday and video of Marcello Mastroianni, soft lighting and just right level of music, makes for date night material. Everything is delicious, portions are just right, service is excellent and prices translate to very good value.  Standout dishes included a beet carpaccio – golden and red beets, finely sliced, with pancetta, spicy pecans and gorgonzola; spaghetti carbonara; saffron infused chicken in champagne sauce;  and, for dessert, a home made light, airy marscapone cheesecake that is so good they should sell it to take home. Choose a prix fixe for $35 per person and get a quartino of wine for two, antipasto, main course and dessert.  A la carte pasta dishes  range from $10 to $18, entrees $14 to $18 and come with vegetables and potatoes.  In the finest Miami Beach tradition, there’s also an early bird special ,and brunch is served on Sunday.  The restaurant was totally full the night we went. It’s an honest place. I’ll definitely be back.

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